Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Potter, Parties and Puke

Apologies (again…) for the long silence. Did you miss me? It’s been a busy few days and I’ve hardly had a chance to update. Firstly, I had a visit from Baldricka who’s visiting the UK for her annual shopping trip. It may sound extravagant, but I once bought clothes in Jerusalem and so I understand her logic perfectly. Then, I had my work’s Annual Summer Party and I was too drunk, and then too hungover, to blog. Finally, Scrappino brought home his excellent school report (did you expect anything else?) and I simply had to take him out to celebrate. But now, he is the proud owner of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (belated birthday present) and he is hiding in his room, nose in said book, lost in Hogwarts. He will probably not resurface until some time next week, which gives me time to catch up here.

Actually, I should make clear that he’s already finished reading the book cover to cover. But that’s not enough. He immediately started back at the beginning the moment he finished. It’s just like Simchat Torah. Only he decided not to dance round the room, holding the book aloft, singing Torat Hashem Temima and drinking alcohol on an empty stomach.

Talking of which, Friday night was my Annual Summer Party at work and I did drink a fair amount of alcohol on an empty stomach. I have been (repeatedly) advised not to mention anything about work on this blog. It’s good advice, if this is to be believed. So I will not tell you about the party itself in too much detail. Other than to say that a terrific time was had by all. And that working for a company where the MD plays guitar in a rock band and performs a two-hour set for the employees isn’t half bad. Less pleasant was the long journey home. I was originally going to get a cab home. But in the spirit of the “We are not afraid” campaign, I felt it would be a fitting statement to travel home on the tube and train. Don’t let the bombers scare us off public transport. And how difficult can it be getting home from central London on a Friday night? Famous last words; the journey was simply awful. They should bottle it and sell it as an instant hangover cure. The tube to Kentish Town was not too bad. A little overcrowded, but plus ca change. But then I took the Thameslink from Kentish Town and it was like Bedlam.

There was a Scouser (and I feel entitled to make this point) who was drunk out of his skull, singing LFC football songs at the top of his voice. Singing in the Kop is one thing. Or singing together with a group of friends. But sitting on your own, on the 23.35 Brighton-Bedford Thameslink, singing “Champiowneys Champiowneys” at the top of your voice is quite another. And to add insult to injury, he kept trying to provoke the chap sitting in front of him by asking “How many times have Arsenal won the Champions league, eh? Never, that’s how many”. I (obviously) have a soft spot for LFC. But there’s a time and a place, mate. And the night train home from Central London isn’t it. (Although I have to admit that it’s marginally better than the other least-appropriate-occasion-for-singing-football songs that I can recall. When Scrappino was born, 4 weeks early and not quite able to manage on his own, J came to visit him at 2 days old. As he (Scrappino) lay there in his little incubator, his tiny hands connected to monitors and a feeding tube inserted in his nose, J leaned right up to the glass, smiled at the sleeping Scrappino and sang “Who’s that lying in the tarmac? Who’s that lying in the snow?....” Like I say, time and place.)

As if the drunk Scouser wasn’t bad enough, there was a woman sitting next to me who had also had far too much to drink. Half way home I could hear her groaning to herself. Then she started holding her head in her hands. Finally (how unpleasant is this?) she threw up in her bag. But not in her handbag – that would be far too classy. She threw up in a plastic bag. One of those really small Boots ones that they give you if you buy a lipstick. And to make matters worse (yes, matters can get worse) there was a hole in the bag through which her alcoholic liquid sick was slowly dripping. I didn’t want to point it out to her myself. I am English and I don’t talk to strangers on the train. But the Scouser had no such qualms. He interrupted his rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone to call across the aisle to the barfing blonde, “Yer pewk is leeekin. It’s drippin on yer shoooes.” Next time I’ll get a cab. Never mind “We are not afraid”. I’ll leave the grand gestures to those who don’t mind travelling home next to caterwauling scousers and chavs dribbling vom.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if i can stomach this any longer!

5:51 pm  

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